Canada provincial party picks interim chief after leader resigns

TORONTO (Reuters) - The lead provincial opposition party in Ontario, Canada selected an interim chief on Friday, a day after leader Patrick Brown resigned over allegations of sexual misconduct and left the party in disarray ahead of June elections.

The center-right Progressive Conservatives, who have been leading in polls in a race to unseat the ruling Liberals, chose provincial parliamentarian Victor Fedeli as their temporary leader.

The party said it plans to elect a new, permanent leader before April, two months before the election.

Names that have been floated include Caroline Mulroney, daughter of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney; Christine Elliott, a provincial politician whose late husband Jim Flaherty was a Canada finance minister; and Lisa Raitt, deputy leader of the federal Conservative Party.

The party’s chief will spearhead efforts to oust Ontario’s 14-year-old Liberal government, unseating Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Brown resigned early Thursday morning amid allegations aired by broadcaster CTV News that he had made unwanted sexual advances on teenage girls when they were intoxicated.

Brown has vehemently denied the allegations. Reuters has not independently verified the claims.

Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and James Dalgleish